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Author Topic: Bravery  (Read 3466 times)
Mike
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« on: December 30, 2014, 07:25:51 AM »

It's been quiet here, so I thought I'd go fishing for discussion...

In your reading (yes, you - the person reading this), what is the the best example of insane bravery shown by a crew during the war?

For me, it is split between the Tang sliding in less than 800 yards behind a destroyer during a night surface attack or the Parche salvoing off nineteen torpedoes in 46 minutes...

(Composed on my phone, so I am limited in my patience with this touchscreen in composing a longer post... but the idea can't wait Smiley)
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"When you're holding people's attention, I feel you must give them high-quality ingredients. They deserve nothing but your best. And if they need information, get it, cross-check it, and try to be right. Do not waste their time; do not enjoy the ego trip of being onstage."

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Lance Dean
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« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2015, 12:46:14 AM »

I have read numerous brave tales of submarine life.  I recall the story told by my grandfather when he was on the Tambor.  They were on the bottom of the ocean floor at 260' while taking 26 depth charges over a 26 minute period.  After they had stayed down as long as they could, they couldn't surface due to being stuck in the mud.  Took them two hours and blowing all they could to surface again, and they came up fast into an unknown surface.

That same patrol was part of "Burt's Brooms" where they had orders to kill everyone in sight.  My grandfather was there when they battle surfaced and went to the small arms to shoot all survivors.  That's something most submariners never had to do.
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Mike
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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2015, 04:17:49 AM »

Lance,

The fact that your Grandfather told the story makes it that much more impressive. Smiley
The idea of being stuck at that depth for that long... it seems a simple problem, but terrifying on further consideration.
As far as the further orders...[shudder]...

Just finished following another rabbit hole - this time in the form of CDR Duff's "Medical Study of the Experiences of Submariners as Recorded in 1,471 Submarine Patrol Reports in World War II", and the following came to light again:

"The third patrol of the PAMPANITO was 'marked by outstanding resourcefulness and ingenuity in the repair of a serious leak in the forward trim tank. One officer and man volunteered to go down in the forward trim tank during a dive to locate the leak.' 'The manhole cover didn't leak and we knew we could supply an ample amount of air with the 225 pound blower. Arranged a set of signals and pumped dry for a test. Manhole cover was removed and the men were put inside and the cover replaced. Removed the manhole cover from the after part of the forward trim tank in the forward torpedo room and attempted voice communication with the forward part of the trim tank. Dived slowly, 'A few very tense moments passed while we waited for word from the men in the tank: finally at 60 feet voice communication was established--."

It is only a fraction of the larger story. In "Steel Shark in the Pacific", CPT Jaffee elaborates further - the Pampanito went to 200' with these men in tank. For me, while this is not bravery in direct contact with enemy warships, this is an example of the struggle against the most vicious enemy for all who sail - the ocean itself. It is also telling of the dedication the crews back then... all they really wanted to do is sink ships. It wasn't about "glory" in the "pending-book-and-movie-rights" sense that the current trend of motivation this generation seems to readily embrace, but the satisfaction of a job accomplished and a job well done. 

(Rich - if you are reading this and if you are the one responsible for uploading the Duff report, much thanks. My wife, she's not too thrilled with me being sucked into two nights' reading, but I have more resources for further essays Cheesy )
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"When you're holding people's attention, I feel you must give them high-quality ingredients. They deserve nothing but your best. And if they need information, get it, cross-check it, and try to be right. Do not waste their time; do not enjoy the ego trip of being onstage."

Henry Rollins
Paul Farace
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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2015, 03:32:50 PM »

just signing up for sub service  and climbing down that ladder and closing the hatch when departing on patrol...

Everything that follows is just trivial...

But, OK, for the point you are making... USS Barb's shore party blowing up the train OR her attack on Namkwan Harbor (won him the MOH).

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Mike
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2015, 11:25:38 PM »

Paul,

I completely forgot about the Namkwan Harbor... well, sort of. When I originally posed the question, I had just finished reading "The War Below" and was impressed by the way Scott captured the feeling of something that happened seventy years ago... but as I sat there contemplating the stories of just those three subs, I began to wonder about the lesser-told stories and what they meant not just for posterity, but to the folks reading this.

...And yes, even as someone who has flown on unarmed Medevac birds over Iraq, I agree with your statement of "just signing up for sub service..." The idea of, and the reality to actually serving on subs even in the present time is enough to make me want to stick with the Devil I know... Smiley
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"When you're holding people's attention, I feel you must give them high-quality ingredients. They deserve nothing but your best. And if they need information, get it, cross-check it, and try to be right. Do not waste their time; do not enjoy the ego trip of being onstage."

Henry Rollins
Darrin
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« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2015, 05:30:47 PM »

Mike,

There is some interesting reading about the USS Squalis/Sailfish which sank and then refloated and then renamed with a new crew onboard.. Google Medal of Honor recipients and you will find a few submariners that have earned that medal.

Torpedo Alley was a good book as was Run Silent Run Deep which does differ from the movie a bit, These guys can name a dozen books that have been written by WWII submariners and a few non submariners that are fantastic

Darrin
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Mike
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« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2015, 12:55:00 AM »

Sorry for the late reply, Darrin...
Yeah, I remember getting introduced to the likes of Cromwell, Dealy, Gilmore, and the others when I was wandering around the Bowfin years ago... Stout spirits, all of them.

These books you recommended are going to go on the "to order" list here soon. At the time being, I am working on "I-Boat Captain" and a couple of others which escape my mind just yet. All of my recreational reading is screeching to a halt with schoolwork, though. Smiley
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"When you're holding people's attention, I feel you must give them high-quality ingredients. They deserve nothing but your best. And if they need information, get it, cross-check it, and try to be right. Do not waste their time; do not enjoy the ego trip of being onstage."

Henry Rollins
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